APC govs petition Senate President, Speaker aspirants over alleged $1m bribe-for-vote

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Governors elected on the platform of Nigeria’s ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), have written a memo to Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Tinubu, concerning alleged plans by two aspirants seeking to be elected President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives to bribe each lawmaker with $1 million to vote for them.

According to the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) members, they are aware of ‘rumours’ that two lawmakers, one aspiring for Senate President and another for Speaker of the House of Representatives, have expressed willingness to offer between $500,000 and $1 million per lawmaker in exchange for votes.

Although they did not name the two candidates allegedly involved in the bribery scheme, they suggested the two candidates are members of the APC, Premium Times reported.

“Indeed, it is being rumoured that one aspirant for the Senate Presidency and another for Speakership are willing to offer as much as $500,000 to $1 million per vote. Opposition party members of the National Assembly are being courted with the likelihood of the 2015 situation presenting itself if care is not taken,” the governors wrote.

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PGF had earlier in a memo called for the intervention of Tinubu on the zoning of the principal offices of the federal parliament. The governors recommended a zoning formula for the offices.

According to the memo, which is the outcome of a meeting held on 8 April, the governors warned Tinubu that the “over-investment” by the aspirants may make zoning impossible if action is not taken quickly.

The governors noted that aspirants are offering newly elected lawmakers thousands of dollars for support, and some are willing to take the offer to a million dollars per vote.

“It is imperative that the President-Elect and the Party wade into this situation and announce an acceptable zoning formula as soon as possible. This is necessary to prevent over-investment by candidates, which leads to acrimony and bitterness. New Senators-elect and members-elect are being offered thousands of dollars.

“Indeed, it is being rumoured that one aspirant for the Senate Presidency and another for Speakership are willing to offer as much as $500,000 to $1 million per vote. Opposition party members of the National Assembly are being courted with the likelihood of the 2015 situation presenting itself if care is not taken,” the memo reads in part.

The ruling APC had after the 25 February election, emerged as the party with the majority in the 109-member Senate with its 57 elected senators.

However, it has yet to form a comfortable majority in the 360-member House of Representatives as it currently has about 162 members-elect.

Seven other parties with membership in the 10th session of the House have about 163 members-elect.

The numbers are expected to increase after the supplementary elections held across the country on Saturday. The elections were held in 31 federal constituencies and five senatorial districts.

Both chambers of the National Assembly will be inaugurated in June during which the presiding officers will be elected.

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